Ethan Chargois Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Ethan Chargois was not ranked in the 2017 high school class[1].
  • Through 19 games this season, the six-foot-nine stretch big has averaged 19.5 points per 40 minutes on 60% true shooting and posted a 22.4 player efficiency rating[2].
  • Southern Methodist has deployed the 19-year-old[3] as a center who spaces the floor out of the three-point line on one end and offers some semblance of rim protection on the other. In that role the freshman has been very effective on both ends, despite lacking elite height for the position.
  • He’s unranked on ESPN’s top 100.

OFFENSE

  • 44.4% of his shots have been launched from three-point range, as Chargois has shown the ability to not only space the floor as a spot-up shooter but also taken catch-and-shoot jumpers on the move coming out of the pick-and-pop and as the trailer in transition.
    • He has a compact release and a quick trigger for someone his size, catching it on the hop and displaying decent touch.
    • He’s nailed 40.3% of his 67 three-point shots this season, at a pace of 6.2 such attempts per 40 minutes, though his 65.4% foul shooting over 52 free throws is a head-scratcher.
  • Other than that, Chargois has gotten the ball in the post and in the elbow on low horns sets as well.
    • He uses power moves to burn smaller players on switches but flashed the traits of a very skilled post game against bigger players, using shot-fakes and head-fakes to work his defender out of position and finish around them on up-and-under’s.
    • Chargois can take his man off the bounce on straight line drives, lacking an explosive first step but using the strength in his 235-pound frame[4] to maintain his balance through contact and high-stepping to weave his way through traffic. He lacks lift off one foot to go up strong at the basket but flashed a running floater to score over length from the in-between area and showed nice touch on lefty finger-roll finishes.
    • Prior to the game against Tulane, Chargois had converted his 57 attempts at the rim at a 70.2% clip, with a third of his 40 makes at the basket unassisted[5].
  • He’s proven himself an asset to help facilitate offense on dribble hand-offs in the perimeter or scanning the floor out of the low post and figures to be an option passing out of the short roll if put in that position too – assisting on 10.5% of Southern Methodist’s scores over his 433 minutes this season.
  • He is not a target to play above the rim as a target for lobs, lacking lift to go up strong off two feet in a pinch, and his impact in the offensive glass has been marginal.

DEFENSE

  • Chargois is pretty nimble for someone his weight and can be somewhat effective defending the pick-and-roll around the foul line but isn’t suited to pick up smaller players on switches or match up with shooting big men.
    • He has a couple of lateral slides in him to show-and-recover well against the pick-and-roll, able to contain the ball-handler and prevent him from getting downhill or turning the corner right away.
      • Southern Methodist ranks 22nd in the country in lowest percentage of shots allowed at the basket[6].
    • But he can get exposed backpedalling and doesn’t act as a deterrent for passes over the top.
    • Chargois bends his knees to get down in a stance in individual defense in the perimeter but lacks lateral quickness to stay in front of smaller players for more than a slide or two.
    • His closeouts are also ineffective, as he doesn’t seem to have above average length to contest catch-and-shoot jumpers effectively and isn’t quick enough to run shooters off their shots.
  • Chargois has shown good attention to his rotation responsibilities stepping up to the front of the basket as the last line of defense and coming off the weak-side in help defense.
    • He’s shown a knack for making plays on the ball – averaging 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per 40 minutes, but that pursuit of events have come at the cost of him putting himself at constant risk of foul trouble – as he’s averaged 4.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes, which have limited his playing time to just 22.8 minutes per game.
    • He ranks second on the team in defensive rating among rotation players[7].
  • Chargois plays disciplined post defense and is attentive to his boxout responsibilities but has a high center of gravity, which affects his ability to hold ground some.
    • He’s collected just 17.8% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 1/19/1999

[4] According to Southern Methodist

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to hoop-math

[7] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Omari Spellman | Brady Manek | Jaren Jackson, Jr.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

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Omari Spellman Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Omari Spellman was the 18th-ranked prospect in the 2016 high school class[1].
  • Through 15 games this season, the six-foot-nine stretch big has averaged 16.3 points per 40 minutes on 54.8% effective shooting and 12.1 rebounds per 40 minutes[2].
  • The 20-year-old[3] is a multi-dimensional scorer who gets his touches in the post one-on-one and from three-point range on spot-ups and out of the pick-and-pop.
    • He’s taking about a third of his shots from each zone[4].
  • Spellman has a 245-pound frame[5] and iffy agility out in space. With that as the case, the red shirt freshman plays center on defense. He is not an explosive leaper but his length and general size around the basket have made him an effective interior defender.
  • He was not ranked on ESPN’s top 100 as of December, 12th.

POST GAME

  • Spellman has a large frame but doesn’t play with a lot of force looking to set up deep seals in the low block, as he seems more comfortable getting the ball in the mid-post instead.
  • But he does use his strength on power moves backing down less physically imposing opponents for looks within close range. He doesn’t get a lot of lift leaping off two feet and his touch on turnaround hooks is iffy.
  • Spellman has not yet shown a particularly diverse set of post moves working his man out of position with shot fakes, head fakes and spin moves. He doesn’t have particularly light feet either.
  • Spellman has shown a strong preference for catching, turning, facing, sizing up his man and jab-stepping before rising up for no-dribble jumpers over his defender. He gets good elevation and fully extends himself for a high release, aside from showing nice touch in his jumper for someone his size.
    • He’s nailed 45.2% of his 42 two-point jumpers this season.
  • Spellman has flashed a face-up drive if his defender plays up on him but lacks coordination and handle getting all the way to the basket in a position of strength.
  • He is yet to show much in terms of court vision passing out of the post – assisting on just 4.1% of Villanova’s scores over his 382 minutes.

SHOOTING

  • Spellman regularly spots-ups beyond the arc, freeing up the post for Jalen Brunson as Villanova inverts the offense. He catches the ball on the hop, gets more elevation than he perhaps should given his size, has a high release and shows good touch on his shot.
    • He’s nailed 46.5% of his 43 three-point shots, at a pace of 4.5 such looks per 40 minutes.
    • He’s also made 18 of his 26 free throws.
  • Spellman has shown some ability to make shots out of the pick-and-pop as well. He is a good screener who looks to make contact, can set his feet quickly and has a reasonably fluid release for someone his size.

FINISHING

  • Spellman can’t play above the rim as a target for lobs and usually pops to the three-point line or rolls into post-up position off ball-screens.
  • He isn’t an explosive leaper off two feet in traffic – converting his 41 shots at the basket at a 48.8% clip.
  • Spellman doesn’t play with a high motor and doesn’t have a quick second jump but can set inside position when he translates his size into toughness and has a seven-foot-two wingspan to rebound outside his area.
    • He’s collected 12.6% of Villanova’s misses when he’s been on the floor.
    • But lacking the explosiveness to go back up strong off two feet, he’s converted his 16 putback attempts at only a 40% clip.

DEFENSE

  • Spellman is not always attentive to his help-defense responsibilities rotating off the weak-side or stepping up to the front of the basket in rim protection. He also doesn’t play with a lot of energy looking to challenge everything he is close by. Despite his size, he doesn’t act as a deterrent.
  • But when well positioned, Spellman has been an effective interior defender thanks to his length and general size. Though he is not an explosive leaper, he has gone up to contest shots via verticality and has blocked shots in volume at the collegiate level – averaging 2.5 blocks per 40 minutes.
  • Spellman has plenty of strength to hold his ground in stout post defense but isn’t always attentive to his boxout responsibilities. He has a big rebounding area and decent instincts chasing the ball off the rim, though – collecting 22.6% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor.
  • Villanova switches aggressive across all ball-screens and Spellman has found himself on smaller players every now and again. He bends his knees to get down enough in a stance but lacks lateral quickness to be an effective perimeter defender, unable slide multiple times to stay in front in isolation or cover a lot in a pinch recovering to block or contest shots from behind.
  • Spellman is asked to extend pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line often but isn’t suited for it, lacking agility out in space to act as anything more than a traffic cone.
  • He is also unable to closeout to the three-point line effectively, so he isn’t suited for guarding shooting big men either.
  • Spellman ranks second on the team in defensive rating among rotation players[6].

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 7/21/1997

[4] According to hoop-math

[5] According to Villanova’s official listing

[6] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Brady Manek | Wenyen Gabriel | Wendell Carter, Jr.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

Jalen Brunson Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Jalen Brunson was the 16th-ranked prospect in the 2015 high school class[1].
  • He was also the most valuable player of the 2015 FIBA World Championships U19.
  • Through the first 15 games this season, the six-foot-three lead guard has averaged 25.4 points per 40 minutes on 70% true shooting.
  • Brunson is a veteran who has 91 appearances under his belt in college and another 12 for the United States youth squads in FIBA tournaments[2]. As such, the 21-year-old[3] is a savvy point guard who knows how to control the pace of the game, regularly finding the right mix between passing ahead to speed up the tempo and walking it up to run half-court offense.
  • Villanova moves the ball side-to-side early in possessions but that’s usually useless motion. More often than not it falls on Brunson’s shoulders the task of breaking down a set defense midway through the shot clock. The junior has posted 24.6% usage-rate and assisted on 30.5% of Villanova’s scores over his 458 minutes this season[4].
  • Brunson does most of his work in middle high pick-and-roll and in isolation off ball reversals but he is also fond of taking his man into the post and backing him down, as Villanova inverts the offense quite a bit thanks to the presence of stretch five Omari Spellman.
  • Defensively, Brunson is strong for someone his height and plays with a lot of toughness. Villanova switches aggressively on all screens in large part because it feels comfortable with its point guard putting up a challenge against bigger players, and so far it hasn’t been disappointed. Having said that, he lacks the athletic ability and elite measurements to be a net positive on that end.
  • Despite his impressive résumé, he wasn’t ranked on ESPN’s top 100 as of December, 12th.

SHOT CREATION

  • Brunson is a very resourceful ball handler. He lacks a quick first step and explosiveness to blow by his man on speed[5] but can get by his man in isolation and generate a good look off the pick-and-roll thanks to a fairly diverse arsenal of dribble moves:
    • In-and-out dribble to shift directions;
    • Stop-and-start quickness;
    • Stop-and-pop pull-ups;
    • Crossover into pull-ups;
    • Hang dribble into pull-ups;
    • Dribble in pull-ups off the ball screen with range out of the college three-point line.
      • 15 of his 34 three-point makes this season have been unassisted[6].
    • Brunson is not one of those genius passers who can anticipate passing lanes a split-second before they come open but he has good court vision and has proven himself a reliable shot creator for others off the bounce, not only able to make a kick-out and a drop-off pass against the defense collapsing to him but also pass across his body to the opposite end of the court.
    • He’s sure handed as well, turning it over on just 8.8% of his possessions this season – which is almost beyond belief for someone with his high usage and assist rates.
    • Brunson uses the strength in his 200-pound frame to take his man into the post in a way you don’t see guards do a whole lot these days and has a combination of power moves and shot fakes that you don’t see in the vast majority of this generation’s big men.

SHOOTING & FINISHING

  • Brunson is not a super dynamic pull-up shooter at the Trae Young-level but has developed into a very good shot maker.
    • He’s nailed 59.3% of his 54 two-point jumpers this season. That sort of efficiency is obviously absurd but it’s not too far off the shooter Brunson truly is, as he nailed 48.5% of his 97 such looks a year ago.
  • Off the ball, he is not yet one of those gunners who can make shots on the move but has proven himself an above average open shot set shooter – nailing 40.6% of his 308 three-point shots over his time at Villanova, including 49.3% of his 69 such shots this season, at a pace of six attempts per 40 minutes.
  • Thanks to his strength maintaining his balance and his momentum forward through contact, Brunson is taking 30.9% of his shots at the rim and averaging 5.5 foul shots per 40 minutes – which are good numbers for someone without elite athleticism like him.
    • He is not an explosive leaper off one foot, doesn’t have much length[7] to over-extend himself around rim protectors and is yet to show much flexibility adjusting his body in the air to finish reverses in traffic but is an ambidextrous finisher with nice touch on speed layups – converting his 55 shots at the basket at a 70.9% clip this season.
  • Brunson ranks second in the country in offensive rating.

DEFENSE

  • He bends his knees to get down in a stance and plays tenacious post defense on the ball – averaging 1.2 steals per 40 minutes this season, but doesn’t use his strength to contain dribble penetration regularly.
  • Brunson looks to go over picks and works his way back to his man well enough to contest elbow jumpers but doesn’t really get skinny navigating the screen to beat his man to the spot with particularly impressive quickness and lacks length to make a real impact contesting these shots.
  • He’s also not very quick chasing opponents around screens on the side of the floor and lacks length to closeout effectively.
  • Brunson is strong enough to pick up bigger players on switches and put up a challenge one-on-one. It’s not any big who will back him down for an easy look within close range. However, he lacks length and leaping ability to make many plays as the last line of defense close to the goal, other than drawing the eventual charge here and there.
  • Brunson is a good rebounder for a point guard – collecting 10.3% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.
  • He has the second worst defensive rating on the team among rotation players[8].

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to Real GM

[3] DOB: 8/31/1996

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] Which has proven to be an issue when big men have switched onto him, as he’s struggled to burn them for it

[6] According to hoop-math

[7] Six-foot-three wingspan, according to Draft Express

[8] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Quade Green | Collin Sexton | Cassius Winston

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

PJ Washington Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • PJ Washington was the 12th-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].
  • Through the first 13 games of the season, the six-foot-seven post-up big has averaged 15.6 points per 40 minutes on 52.9% effective shooting but posted only a 16.6 PER[2].
  • He is getting his touches in the low post with his back to the basket and at the elbow area within Kentucky’s horns set. Though he’s shown a lack of lift and explosiveness with the ball, the 19-year-old[3] has managed to generate efficient offense down low thanks to the strength in his 243-pound frame.
  • On the other end, Washington is more effective close to the basket as well, though his rebounding has been subpar. And despite looking like an athlete who should be able to defend out in the perimeter, he’s struggled to stay in front and closeout to the three-point line properly.
    • His defensive rating is second worst on the team among rotation players[4].
  • ESPN ranks him 40th in its top 100.

BELOW THE FOUL LINE

  • Washington uses his strength well to get a deep seal in his spots, also being aided by having spent most of his time on the floor with Nick Richards in the lineup, as few opponents have two big men strong enough to matchup with both.
    • He’s posted 20.2% usage-rate over his 334 minutes.
  • Almost always relying on power moves to back his way into close range attempts, he doesn’t seem to have much versatility in his post game, yet to show anything in terms of shot fakes, head fakes and spin moves.
  • Facing up his man, Washington also plays bully-ball more often than not, though he has flashed a jumper off sizing up his man. His first step isn’t very quick and he hasn’t shown side-to-side shake or dribble moves, though he attempts a behind the back dribble every once in a while.
  • His brute force has been effective at the collegiate level. Able to maintain his balance and his momentum forward through contact, he’s taken 51.8% of his shots at the basket and converted them at a 70.5% clip[5], despite the fact he lacks explosiveness elevating off one foot or two feet in traffic.
    • Washington has also shot 7.8 free throws per 40 minutes, while posting a 76.5% free throw rate.
    • He has struggled feeling double teams, though – turning it over on 20% of his possessions.
  • When he’s been kept from getting a good look at the basket, Washington has struggled with his touch on floaters to finish over length from the in-between area – missing 22 of his 33 two-pointers away from the basket.
    • He has, however, shown to be an adequate passer making a drop-off or a kick-out pass against the defense collapsing to him – assisting on 15.2% of Kentucky’s scores when he’s been on the floor. He’s also been an asset operating from the foul line inside zone defenses.
  • Washington doesn’t play with a high enough motor to be a volume offensive rebounder – collecting just 8.5% of Kentucky’s misses when he’s been in the game. But he has enough strength to win inside position and a seven-foot-three wingspan[6] to rebound outside his position, aside from showing a decent second jump, so when he goes for it, he can be productive.
    • A quarter of his shots at the basket have been putback attempts and he’s converted them at a 100% clip.
  • Washington has been a proactive rim protector, whether it’s stepping up to the front of the basket or coming off the weak-side in help-defense. He’s a quick leaper off two feet and has an eight-foot-nine standing reach[7] to challenge shots at the basket – averaging 1.9 blocks per 40 minutes.
  • Washington is often inattentive to his boxout responsibilities and though he does have long arms, he is not a high leaper to consistently chase the ball at a higher point than his opponents – collecting just 13.2% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor.

ABOVE THE FOUL LINE

  • Washington has started spacing out to three-point line a little more over the last few games but it’s still pretty rare. He has a decent catch-and-shoot stroke but a methodical release and poor touch on his shot. Opponents play off him and pack the lane.
    • He’s missed six of his eight three-point attempts and shot just 61.5% on 65 free throws.
  • Washington bends his knees some and has decent lateral quickness for someone his weight defending out in space but doesn’t get all that low in a stance and doesn’t slide laterally multiple times to stay in front all the way.
    • Though he looks like someone who should be an asset to pick up smaller players on switches, Washington needs to make more multiple effort plays in order for that to be the case.
  • Washington can run shooters off their shots at the three-point line but sells out to do so, sometimes even leaving his feet, which gives the opponent a free path to attack off the bounce and compromises the defense behind him.
  • Despite great length, he hasn’t shown many instincts many plays in the passing lanes or using his reach to make plays on the ball defending in the perimeter. His contributions through steals have been marginal.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 8/23/1998

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to the measurements at the Kentucky combine

[7] According to nbadraft.net

READ MORE: Nick Richards | Marques Bolden

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

Marques Bolden Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Marques Bolden was the 16th-ranked prospect in the 2016 high school class[1] but logged only 157 minutes in his first year at Duke, missing the first month due to injury and then struggling to make a positive impact once he did get on the court.
    • He averaged just 6.5 minutes per game as a freshman and logged more than seven minutes in just one of his last 12 appearances in the season.
  • The 19-year-old[2] is off to a much better start as a sophomore, having already logged 151 minutes in his first 12 appearances over the first month-and-a-half.
  • The six-foot-11 center is a bruising old school type who is only effective near the basket on both ends, yet to develop perimeter skills or to show enough nimbleness to defend above the foul line.
  • Though the pro game is going away from players with his profile, dominant forces near the goal can still have a small role in the backend of the rotation. But they have to be dominant. Bolden is not there yet but players with his combination of size and strength at his age are the ones with a shot of developing into such types down the line.

SIZE & STRENGTH

  • Bolden uses the strength in his 245-pound frame to get a deep seal in the low post consistently and relies on power moves to back his way into close-range looks.
  • 50% of his live ball attempts have been at the basket this season and he’s converted them at a 70% clip[3].
    • Disappointingly, he’s only averaging 3.7 foul shots per 40 minutes[4], though.
  • Bolden is not a high energy big but can set inside position in the offensive glass and has a seven-foot-six wingspan[5] to rebound outside of his area – collecting 13.5% of Duke’s misses when he’s been on the floor this season.
    • He’s shown a decent second jump but doesn’t have much lift going back up strong in a crowd – converting his seven putback attempts at only a 60% clip.
  • Bolden can hold his ground in the post and is a tough presence to finish around when he is well set, given his decent quickness elevating off two feet out of a standstill position and his nine-foot-four standing reach.
    • He’s averaged 3.2 blocks per 40 minutes this season.
    • Thanks to his effectiveness close to the basket, Bolden is second on the team in defensive rating among rotation players[6].
  • Bolden is attentive to his boxout responsibilities but doesn’t pursue the ball with a lot of intensity often – collecting just 16.6% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor.

SKILL LEVEL & MOBILITY

  • He’s yet to show a particularly diverse set of post moves in terms of working his man out of position patiently with shot fakes, head fakes and spins. His footwork isn’t all that fluid either.
  • His touch on turnaround hooks is iffy, as he’s converted his 20 shots away from the rim at a 30% clip.
    • He’s also missed six of his 14 foul shots this season.
  • Bolden is not a very good option as pick-and-roll finisher. He is a good screener who looks to draw contact but doesn’t roll hard to the basket often and can’t play above the rim as a target for lobs going up in traffic, though it’s fair to point out Duke doesn’t space the floor very well, rarely stretching Marvin Bagley, III or Javin DeLaurier out to the three-point line when one of the two is out there with him.
    • Bolden is more effective setting ball-screens to roll into post position.
  • He is yet to show much of anything in terms of shooting range or being able to facilitate offense from the elbows.
  • Given the specificity of how he can make a positive impact, Bolden has the second worst offensive rating on the team among rotation players.
  • Bolden isn’t all that quick coming off the weak-side in help-defense to challenge shots at the basket.
    • Often a step too late and prone to biting on shot fakes, Bolden is averaging five personal fouls per 40 minutes.
  • He hasn’t yet developed feel for making preventive rotations and keeping dribble drivers from getting to the basket in the first place.
  • Given his frame and iffy mobility, Bolden is not suited for guarding pick-and-rolls above the foul line, nor does he project as an asset to pick up smaller players on switches.
  • He struggles to closeout to the perimeter, so matching up with stretch big men figures to be a problem as well.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] DOB: 4/17/1998

[3] According to hoop-math

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to Draft Express

[6] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Wendell Carter, Jr. | Marvin Bagley, III

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

Wendell Carter, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

If Marvin Bagley III hadn’t reclassified and joined Duke in mid-August, perhaps Wendell Carter, Jr. would be a more prominent pro prospect right now.

In Bagley III’s absence, the six-foot-10 center would have probably benefited from extra touches and more notoriety.

Carter, Jr. could have used that bump in his numbers and perception of his dominance because he isn’t quite a perfect fit for the way the game is played in the NBA these days.

The 259-pounder is not an explosive leaper and can’t play above the rim as a target for lobs, so he figures to be a below average option as a pick-and-roll finisher. He is also yet to prove he can space the floor out to the three-point line in a way that truly threatens the opposing defense.

The 18-year-old[1] has mostly played as an old school type who earns most of his scoring working with his back to the basket, though he has flashed traits of perimeter skills that fit more easily with the modern game in terms of handling the ball to facilitate offense on hand-offs and passing on the move as well.

The same is true on the other end where Carter, Jr. is an effective defender close to the basket but whose frame doesn’t seem to make him suited for picking up smaller players above the foul line often, though he’s done reasonably well when tested.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

[1] DOB: 4/16/1999

Marvin Bagley, III Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Even though he was a late addition, not making his decision to reclassify and join the team this year until mid-August, Duke wasted no time incorporating Marvin Bagley III and making him their center of gravity on offense. He leads the team in usage-rate among rotation players, at 26.8%[1], and getting him the ball tends to be the Duke’s priority on every other possession.

Though he projects as a center in the pros, the six-foot-11, 234-pounder has played just about every minute this season with another true big man in the lineup. As a result, opponents have matched up their stronger big on the pure center and often designated lighter, smaller types to guard Bagley III, which Duke has consistently viewed as an opportunity to explore getting him to work mostly below the foul line.

They haven’t been proven wrong at this level yet, given they’ve won 11 of 12 games so far and the lefty is averaging 27.3 points per 40 minutes on 63.5% effective shooting.

He hasn’t had much opportunity to dive to the basket in pick-and-roll, though, and a lot of the interest in him as a pro prospect surrounds his potential as both a lob finisher and an outside shooter — which hasn’t advanced much, in large part because he is not asked to space the floor a whole lot.

Defensively, the 18-year-old[2] impresses in instances where activity is required of him, which is what to be expected given his remarkable athletic prowess. His defensive box plus minus is positive.

But he needs to develop in more subtle aspects of the game like being more attentive to his boxout responsibilities, acting as a deterrent as the last line of defense and controlling the action in front of him in the pick-and-roll – areas that will become more important when he moves up a level and can no longer solely rely on his athleticism to make a difference.

POST OFFENSE

Bagley III lacks strength to establish a deep seal in the low post, even against switches, and gets consistently pushed further out to just inside the arc. That hasn’t stopped him from putting up the shots he is best at right now, though, whether it’s facing up or with his back to the basket.

He doesn’t have power moves and hasn’t yet shown much dexterity in terms of being able to work his defender patiently with shot-fakes or head-fakes but his feet are light and his touch is tremendous, so his turnaround lefty hooks, while somewhat simplistic, have been very effective.

That said, his go-to move in college has been looking to drive past opposing big men. He is getting the ball in the elbow a ton. His handle is rudimentary at this point of his development, as he is prone to getting the ball stripped in traffic and hasn’t shown much side-to-side shake. But Bagley III has long strides, a spin move and a euro-step to get all the way to the basket more often than not.

At the rim, he hasn’t yet shown much flexibility to hang or adjust his body in the air but is an explosive leaper off one-foot (even in traffic), uses his length well to over-extend and has great touch to score around rim protectors – converting his 91 layup/dunk attempts at a 79.1% clip[3], with 32 of his 72 makes unassisted, at a pace of 3.4 unassisted makes at the rim per 40 minutes.

And against defenders who have managed to stay attached to him or prevent him from taking it to the goal comfortably, Bagley III has even flashed a running floater to score from the in-between area and some ability to make a drop-off or a kick-out on the move – assisting on a not awesome but decent 8.3% of Duke’s scores when he’s been on the floor.

OTHER AREAS OF OFFENSE

Duke doesn’t have him diving hard to the basket a whole lot in pick-and-roll but Bagley III has proven he can play above the rim as a target for lobs.

When he has set high ball-screens, almost always slip screens, his priority has mostly been rolling into post position or popping to a spot in the perimeter for a catch-and-shoot jumper, though.

Bagley III is yet to take meaningful steps forward to prove himself a credible threat as an outside shooter, nailing just eight assisted two-point jumpers and eight three-point shots this season.

Some of the types of shots he’s hit sporadically, a step-in three-pointer as the trailer in the secondary break and quick trigger bombs in the pick-and-pop, still make you hopeful for the sort of shooter he could become with some encouragement.

But other than isolating, Bagley III’s most significant contribution has been on the offensive glass, where he puts his explosive leaping ability to work going up to get the ball at a higher point than his opponents, also possessing a quick second jump to go back up strong and fight for tip-ins or 50-50 balls – collecting 13% of Duke’s misses when he’s been on the floor this season and converting his 26 putback attempts at an 81.8% clip.

DEFENSE

He struggles to hold ground in the post and isn’t very disciplined attending to his boxout responsibilities, though he’s managed to collect 24.1% of opponents’ misses in his 375 minutes thanks to the same attributes that make him effective on the offensive glass.

But his biggest issue has been in pick-and-roll defense.

Bagley III excels picking up smaller players on switches out in space, as he’s able to get down in a stance and slide laterally well enough to keep pace with them on straight line drives in order to intimidate or effectively contest shots.

But when he is asked to drop back, Bagley III always seems kind of lost. He hasn’t yet learned how to control the action in front of him, in terms of finding the right mix between backpedalling to prioritize preventing the ball handler from getting downhill but not giving away so much space that he has such an easy pull-up that most guys at the highest level of college ball can make. Boston College really succeeded in exploring this gap in his game, as it sought to put him in pick-and-roll time and time again in the second half of last week’s upset.

As the last line of defense, Bagley III is yet to develop into a help-defender who can protect the rim by making preventive rotations that keep the dribble driver from getting to the basket in the first place but has shown in bits and pieces that he has room to become that sort of player down the line, especially given his quickness.

Differently than he had shown in high school, Bagley is yet to translate his athleticism into making an impact as a shot blocker, though, which is putting into question his ability to anchor a defense at the next level, as chronicled by The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks today.

[1] According to sports-reference

[2] DOB: 3/14/1999

[3] According to hoop-math

Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara